Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry recently surpassed Reggie Miller and then Ray Allen to become the player with the most three-pointers made in NBA history. Curry is the greatest shooter this game has ever seen at only 33 years of age, playing at a level that will see his record enter the sphere of unbreakable. While Steph has surpassed both Miller and Allen, his game is very different from the two greats. In fact, it is the other Splash Brother Klay Thompson that resembles the style of Miller and Allen while possessing the enhanced three-point accuracy of this era’s players.
Reggie Miller’s Swagger
Reggie Miller is most known for “Miller Time” thanks to his late-game heroics, particularly when coming off screens to hit big shots in the game’s most pressure-packed moments. This is something that Klay certainly brings to the table for a team that has dominated their era when healthy.
In the playoffs, the only person that comes close to being as frightening as The Undertaker LeBron from his days in Miami is Game Six Klay. Thompson has had a knack for stepping up in the Warriors’ biggest games, carrying the scoring load when Steph Curry or Kevin Durant was either out due to injury or struggling from the field.
More importantly, Klay resembles Reggie’s competitive fire and on-court swagger. He’s not loud like his teammate Draymond Green, but Klay plays with a fire that allows him to compete on both ends of the floor at the highest level. Klay never shied away from a big game on offense or the assignment of guarding the opposing team’s best player, and Reggie was the same, going toe-to-toe with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant on many occasions during his illustrious career.
Ray Allen’s Bag
Many will remember Ray Allen for his shot to save the Miami Heat’s title hopes in their 2013 Finals series against the San Antonio Spurs. This was Ray Allen towards the end of his career, and many forget that when he entered the league in 1996, Ray had the complete package and put it on full display each night. Allen had the ability to create off-the-dribble, which he had to use more during his early years, but Ray went in his bag in the 2008 Finals in the Celtics’ victory over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Klay’s handle is underrated because he has not had to use it as much thanks to the Warriors’ fluid offense over the years. However, don’t mistake the seldom use of the dribble as a weakness, as Klay knows how to get to the rack with fundamental ball-handling moves that give him enough to get his man off-balance. Especially with the amount of defensive switching that is present in schemes these days, Thompson has the ability to throw a big man off and get to the cup for a nice flush.
Despite being out of the NBA for 941 days, Klay showed his skill in his first game back when he blew by Jarrett Allen for a poster in just a few minutes of action in his return against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thompson’s repertoire off the bounce resembles that of Ray Allen’s, and he also has the athleticism to get above the rim to finish strong at the hoop when needed.
We are all happy to see Klay back, and while we save the comparison for the game’s biggest superstars, Klay’s game is a throwback that reminds us of two of the greatest to ever do it. Like Miller and Allen, Klay does not have a flashy game. However, the numbers and the impact on winning don’t lie, and Klay Thompson is as good as it gets as a basketball player.